Living Within the Pages – Book Review #14

27 01 2011

Title: Darklight

Author: Lesley Livingston

Series: Wondrous Strange trilogy (#2)

Amazon Rating: 4

Goodreads Rating: 3.92

Alex’s Rating: 3.75

Darklight, the second of Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange trilogy, continues with the story of Kelley Winslow, Sonny Flannery, and the menagerie of Fae in Livingston’s world.

Although Kelley managed to end the Wild Hunt, the repercussions are still being felt in the Otherworld. At the end of Wondrous Strange, Auberon commands Sonny to go back with him to the Faerie realm and displace all of the remaining Hunters.

Separated for over six months from Sonny, Kelley–deep in rehearsals for the Avalon Grande’s production of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet–begins to not heed the advice of the Janus Guard and walks through Central Park one night on her way home.

This encounter leaves her with a new fear and appreciation for the Fennrys Wolf, but it does not deter her from walking through the park again, albeit with the Wolf as her escort this time. Although she is flanked by this strong Janus Guard, trouble finds the two deep within the park and another fight for her life lands her in the Otherworld.

Going between the mortal and Faerie realms, Kelley discovers more of her own power and its constraints, a new and terrible power, and is forced to make several difficult choices. Aided by old friends and new, Kelley and company fight off a band of leprechauns and their twisted sisters in a battle for power, control, and a little lucky charm. But just when things seem like they can’t get any worse, Kelly is forced to make the most difficult decision she has ever made. A decision that will cost her the thing she loves most.

I enjoyed the second installment of Livingston’s trilogy, but it did not capture my attention as well as Wondrous Strange did. Perhaps I will chalk it up to “second book” syndrome and try not to think too hard about it when beginning the third and final book, Tempestuous.

I love the warring and complicated world Livingston has woven for her young readers. Even being in my early twenties, there is a special magic between the pages. One of innocence, change, acceptance, and hard decisions. All pertinent to the process of growing from a youth into an adult. Kelley, Sonny, and other friends make tough decisions that not only affect themselves, but everyone around them, and even those in other worlds. And it is that change that allows the reader to feel connected to the characters even in a world so fantastical we can barely fathom it exists within the book.

Livingston’s world is full of life, imagination, deadly wars, dangerous alliances, and lovely dalliances. It is a place to live, love, laugh, cry, and most importantly, grow. It is a place where Kelley learns the true meaning of coming into her own and we as readers get our fair share along the way.